A mascot like Bucky

By Jeff Matuszewski

With the recent banning of the Chief’s halftime show, it is becoming harder and harder to support a mascot like the Chief for our school. The beloved dance that some people go to the games for will no longer be happening. Native Americans are offended at the fact that the Chief was used in the first place. With no more of these activities at the games, it is now, more than ever, important to find another mascot to lead our school, a mascot that everyone can love and appreciate, but would also be specific to the state of Illinois.

I thought about this question on who would be a good enough replacement, and after visiting another Big Ten school, I got an answer. For at the University of Wisconsin, they have a mascot named Bucky. He’s a nasty little thing, but when that badger comes out, everyone starts cheering (and I mean everyone, not half like when the Chief comes out). He rolls around, makes funny antics towards the other team, and basically puts everyone in a good mood. The answer became clear that we need something at our school to get people fired up and away from our stereotype image.

But what would make it specific to the state of Illinois? Not the Lincolns, not the Mississippis, but the one thing that you see through the entire state of Illinois: corn. Not only does it have a rich history of being our staple crop, but the University has the oldest experimental corn field in the country! I could envision our mascot as a free-standing stalk of corn, who would start a new tradition of taking everyone from The Morrow Plots down the road to the stadium and entering the stadium to the cheers of everyone. As he rolls around on the ground and fires up the crowd, fans could, with a contentful shake of the head, say “oh, Corny”. We could even start a rivalry with an actual team (instead of saying we’re rivals with Michigan, even though they don’t consider us as rivals at all and have Ohio State to worry) that is more evil to corn than anything: the Cornhuskers.

Even if you think my idea is kind of “corny,” I think it makes a valid point that we need to get some new mascot that all of us can rally around, not the influential few.

Jeff Matuszewski

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